WATCH: Tacoma duplex fire leaves one dead
A 3-year-old boy who died Wednesday after being trapped inside his burning South Tacoma home has been identified as Nehemiah Bonds.
Family members said the boy, nicknamed Nemo, was always happy and wanting to play.
Firefighters were called about 3:45 p.m. to a burning duplex in the 6400 block of South Tyler Street by someone who saw smoke.
Nemo and his mother were home alone at the time of the blaze.
“I saw that the mother was dragged out by another man, and she was crying hysterically,” said Duncan Hamlin, who was walking through the neighborhood at the time of the fire and ran to help. “Her child was still in there. She was just saying ‘My baby’s in there! My baby’s in there!’”
Hamlin said he tried to enter the home to find the boy, but smoke and heat beat him back.
Firefighters later found the boy’s body.
His mother was taken to a hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.
Several family members gathered outside the duplex Wednesday to mourn Nemo’s death.
His big sister, Shaniya Bonds, said he loved playing games and gabbed nonstop.
“My little brother’s always happy. That’s one thing that’s going to keep me happy,” she said.
Both units in the duplex were severely damaged, as well as a house and another duplex next door. Seven people were displaced in the blaze.
Two Tacoma Fire investigators returned to the scene Thursday to examine the scene and interview witnesses in an attempt to determine what started the fire.
No cause has been determined.
KIRO-TV contributed to this report.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653